Background False positive multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) phenotypes prompt unnecessary biopsies. The Prostate MRI Imaging Study (PROMIS) provides a unique opportunity to explore such phenotypes in biopsy-naïve men with raised prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and suspected cancer. Objective To compare mpMRI lesions in men with/without significant cancer on transperineal mapping biopsy (TPM).Design, setting, and participants PROMIS participants (n=235) underwent mpMRI followed by a combined biopsy procedure at University College London Hospital, including 5-mm TPM as the reference standard. Patients were divided into four mutually exclusive groups according to TPM findings: (1) no cancer, (2) insignificant cancer, (3) definition 2 significant cancer (Gleason ≥3 + 4 of any length and/or maximum cancer core length ≥4 mm of any grade), and (4) definition 1 significant cancer (Gleason ≥4 + 3 of any length and/or maximum cancer core length ≥6 mm of any grade). Outcome measurements and statistical analysis Index and/or additional lesions present in 178 participants were compared between TPM groups in terms of number, conspicuity, volume, location, and radiological characteristics. Results and limitations Most lesions were located in the peripheral zone. More men with significant cancer had two or more lesions than those without significant disease (67% vs 37%; p < 0.001). In the former group, index lesions were larger (mean volume 0.68 vs 0.50 ml; p< 0.001, Wilcoxon test), more conspicuous (Likert 4–5: 79% vs 22%; p < 0.001), and diffusion restricted (mean apparent diffusion coefficient [ADC]: 0.73 vs 0.86; p < 0.001, Wilcoxon test). In men with Likert 3 index lesions, log2PSA density and index lesion ADC were significant predictors of definition 1/2 disease in a logistic regression model (mean cross-validated area under the receiver-operator characteristic curve: 0.77 [95% confidence interval: 0.67–0.87]). Conclusions Significant cancer-associated MRI lesions in biopsy-naïve men have clinical-radiological differences, with lesions seen in prostates without significant disease. MRI-calculated PSA density and ADC could predict significant cancer in those with indeterminate MRI phenotypes.